My XR embarked on its first trip today. A quick 750klm round trip across the Vic-NSW border and back to do a house inspection.
Some perspective ......
I've been a bit butchers for 9 years. Had several years no bike, no riding. Slowly got back into it, building myself up and was managing as far as 250 sometimes 300klms return on my ZRX 1200. So 750 return was a big ask. However, I had conducted two rides of 300klms return on the XR last week and thought I'd have a crack, hang the pain. But that gives you an idea of the significance of being physically able to manage that sort of distance again. Ten years ago, thousand KLM days were no biggie. 6 years ago ten KLM days were impossible. 3 years ago 60klm days were impossible.... today ZRX 300klm days possible, XR 750+KLM days possible........noice.
I slabbed it from home up the Hume Sleepway. I didn't fill up after the weekend ride, but the pooter said I had a hunge fifty k's before empty, so I figured I'd grab fuel at the service centre 100klms Up the Rd. But boredom meant the mind wandered and I missed the exit. Next fuel had me a little sweaty wondering if I'd make it. So I wound it up another few kph to push the friendship.
Made it with 3 litres still in the tank. The rest of the trip was roughly 300klms 13 litres if you drip feed that tank and shove the last litre in with the sole of your boot.
The morning started with the gauge reading 12c at 9am. I layered thrice under my Alvinsteer Revolting jacket. Good bit of kit those things. That whoretex stuff works a treat. Stuck the grip griller on low and hit the cruise button at 117 on the playschool clock. Had The Alvinsteer SP8's on. With those handguards and grillers it means rarely having to whip out the thick winter mitts.
By the first stop it had risen to 17 so I started opening vents. By the time I hit the NSW border at 11.30 I had all the vents open and then two layers removed at the next stop. By the time I got to the destination in NSW an hour later it was 34įc.
After the inspection, the thought of the Mind numbing sleepway again really didn't fill me with joy. There's only so many times you can sit on the pillion seat as you pass a car before it's no longer funny.
So I headed to Rosewood, Tumbarumba, jingelic and crossed the border back into Victoriastan, showing the government officials my border permit, my identification tattoo and allowed them to scan my microchip. Then followed the river rd back to Wodonga.
I'd forgotten how good and how tricky the jingelic rd Can be. Tightening radius turns over crests with negative camber.... It's a lot of fun...
Then the flowing constant radius bends on the river rd. At 100, it's a relaxing ride with a few turns tight enough to have you yelling at yourself to not be a sook and disengage cruise.... But at 160 it's huge fun. But they tend not to be very happy when they catch you these days.... Silly really, we used to do that rd at 160kph on old bikes with skinny tyres, elastic frames and brakes that were cosmetic items. Back then the local bloke was okay as long as you didn't lair arse about the towns. On the open rd, if you were Under 160, they'd smile and wave.
The XR reminds me so much of my R1100RS. Obviously lighter, more power, more torque etc., But in terms of the way it steers. And to the way the suspension works. Even though the R11RS was A Telelever (hereinafter referred to as the FFE or Funny Front End.) and the XR has telescopic jobbies, the way the react at the top of the stroke always makes me smile.
A comfort seat. Yeah....best you tick that box. 600klms of slabbing it and 150klms of twisties in one day tells me its PFG. I still think it could be taller and a little softer. But as factory stuff goes, this goes o'right.
The seat to peg to bar position is just so BMW.... They are The masters of it and have been since the 80's.
The suspension makes pimpled, rutted, potholed, gravelly, broken tarmac feel like a freshly laid piece of interstate funded by the covid stimulus. Then it gets stiffer than Viagra day at the nursing home when you lay it on its ear through the turns.
The quickshifter is brilliant. Next to cruise, it's next on the faves list.
The brakes are fantastic. Can't understand why people look down on anything not Stylema...
That screen is surely a creation of Bastards Incorporated. It really is a bastard of a bastard. It appears they've taken the design of the screen to someone who's mother was raped and mudered by a pack of raging antisocial BMW owners and they've decided to exact their revenge on every BMW xr owner, by creating a screen that no matter what it's position, it slaps the rider back and forth across the head and blows one of those annoying yellow horns you see pissed idiots with every new years eve, up the skirt of the helmet.
Like, if that was the design brief, they've nailed it.👍